Shun Iwasawa

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Shun Iwasawa is a Programmer at Studio Ghibli Inc. He has been making tools and developing visual effects based on (sort of) scientific simulation for hand- drawn Japanese animation production since 2006.

Visual effects based on scientific models give some reality to images. On the other hand, the effects also need to be flexible enough to render the artists’ imagination, which may sometimes be prioritized over scientific correctness. In the talk Shun is planning to cite some visual effects used in the production of Studio Ghibli films as examples, introducing the background of the development. Also he’ll introduce some “traditional” visual effect techniques for comparison – they had exploited multiple exposure on the film instead of computer graphics.

For instance, here are new visual effects he recently developed:

  1. Glare Fx; which reproduces glare in photography, a star-shaped streak pattern due to Fraunhofer diffraction of light caused by diaphragm or star filters. An unique characteristic of this effect is that users input the diaphragm or the filter shape for computation, instead of inputting the streak pattern itself.
  2. Rainbow Fx; for rendering rainbow. Numerical computation of scattering Intensity from water droplet for each wavelengh of light and scattering angle is precomputed, done with MiePlot by Philip Laven.

As a “weekend illustrator”, since last year he has been drawing cover illustrations for the journal of JSAI, The Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence.